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Sale 2503 Lot 302
INSCRIBED BY THE PLAYWRIGHT (LITERATURE.) Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. , 60, 38, 35 mimeograph leaves, printed on recto only. 4to, 11 x 8 1/2 inches, in original post binder, both covers detached; minimal wear to contents; manuscript notes throughout in an unknown hand, with "Lorraine's Copy" inscribed in the author's hand on title page. New York: produced by the Hart Stenographic Bureau, late 1958 or early 1959
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000
A draft typescript of the groundbreaking play, the first by an African-American woman on Broadway, and the first with an African-American director. This draft was fairly early in the script's production. An asterisk is placed next to the title, with a disclaimer: "Title pending permission of Mr. Langston Hughes," who had coined the phrase. The copyright date of 1959 had not yet been added.
We count manuscript notes on 50 pages, including textual notes or corrections on 16 pages. Some of the edits are substantial. For example, in the introductory production notes, two long sentences are crossed out, although they remain in the published editions of the play. On page 1-13, a stage instruction is added to Ruth's dialogue: "She starts to scramble eggs." On the last page, one line had been changed: "I'm proud of you, my boy" is altered to "I'm proud you my boy." Neither version of this bit of dialogue made the final published version of the play, but other surviving drafts have the corrected text, suggesting that the version offered here is an earlier draft.
Provenance: given by Hansberry to her friends Mel and Lorraine Williamson; consigned by the family. Their friendship is discussed in Menoukha Case, "Lorraine Hansberry: Writing Between Rocks and Hard Places," in the 2013 anthology "Black Writers and the Left." A typescript of this paper is included with the lot.